Etruscan pours first gold at Youga Mine in Burkina Faso

    HALIFAX, March 3 /CNW/ - Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) reported today
that the first gold was poured at its 90% owned Youga Mine located in Burkina
Faso, West Africa.
    A gold bar of approximately 100 ounces was poured from the smelting of
gravity concentrate. Ore has been processed on a regular basis since
mid-February with the majority of systems, including crushing, grinding and
leach circuits now operational. A total of 49,694 tonnes of ore have been
mined of which 30,072 tonnes have been crushed and 16,837 tonnes processed.
The elution circuit, required for the extraction of gold from the CIL leach
tanks, is now in its final stages of commissioning as the first batches of
loaded carbon are being treated. Commercial production, defined as
30 consecutive days of operation at 60% of designed capacity, is scheduled for
April 2008.

    Gerald McConnell, President and CEO stated:

    "This first gold pour at Youga is a major milestone on Etruscan's path to
    becoming a mid-tier gold producer. The construction and operating teams
    at Youga have done a tremendous job in getting the Youga Project to where
    it is today. Over the coming months we will be ramping up to full

    Youga promises to be a robust project that will produce strong cash flow
    for the company.

    Our next gold producer will be Agbaou located in Côte d'Ivoire where the
    feasibility study will be completed this summer with production to follow
    in 2010.

    Etruscan is one of the largest landholders in West Africa today having
    13,000 square kilometers on 9 prolific gold belts in 5 countries.
    Extensive exploration programs are underway, consistent with our strategy
    to grow the company through the discovery of major new deposits in the

    Youga is forecasted to produce between 60,000 and 70,000 ounces of gold
in 2008 and 100,000 ounces of gold in the first full year of operation in
2009. The Youga Project is initially mining from five open pits and the ore is
processed though a conventional CIL/gravity plant having a design capacity of
one million tonnes per annum. Current mineable reserves are 6.6 million tonnes
with an average grade of 2.7 grams per tonne containing 580,000 ounces of
gold. The project benefits from a year-round water supply from a nearby major
river system (the White Volta). Access to grid power will be supplied via the
northern grid of the Volta River Authority in Ghana which is forecasted to be
connected for mid-2008. A diesel power plant supplies constant power to the
site until the grid power is available.
    The base case financial analysis in the Youga Feasibility Study Update
(October 2006) was prepared using a gold price of US$525 per ounce and a
life-of-mine cash cost of US$317 per ounce and indicated an undiscounted net
present value of US$66.7 million for the Project on a before tax and debt
service basis. The updated project economics prepared by the Company
incorporates a re-optimized mine plan (based on a gold price of $525 per
ounce), a hedged gold price of US$700 per ounce for 40% of production
(approximately 225,000 ounces), an unhedged gold price of US$850 per ounce for
60% of production (approximately 336,000 ounces) and a life-of-mine cash cost
of US$396. The forecast cash cost for the fiscal year 2008 which incorporates
the gradual ramp up of operations is $490 per ounce. The Project capital cost
estimate has been revised to US$75 million from the Feasibility Study Update
estimate of US$46 million. The updated capital cost estimate includes the
addition of the power plant, spare mill motor and gearbox as well as
pre-production costs and financing costs, which the prior estimate did not, as
well as working capital. The updated economic assessment indicates an
undiscounted net present value of US$140 million for the Project on a before
tax and debt service basis for 100% of the Project.

    Robert Harris, P.Eng., Vice President of Operations of Etruscan, is the
Qualified Person overseeing production and development in West Africa and
South Africa and has reviewed and approved this press release.

    About Etruscan Resources Inc.

    Etruscan Resources Inc. is a gold focused Canadian junior mining company
with dominant land positions in district scale gold belts covering more than
13,000 square kilometers in West Africa. Its principal gold mine development
projects include the Youga Gold Project in Burkina Faso (latest press release
February 4, 2008), the Agbaou Gold Project in Côte d'Ivoire (latest press
release dated February 21, 2008), and the Finkolo Gold Project in Mali (latest
press release dated January 7, 2008). Advanced and early stage exploration
projects are on-going in Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Namibia
(see press dated November 12, 2007). Etruscan also has a 53.7% interest in
Etruscan Diamonds Limited which has a dominant land position in the
Ventersdorp Diamond District located in South Africa where it is developing
the Blue Gum Diamond Project (press release dated February 1, 2008). The
common shares of Etruscan are traded on The TSX Exchange under the symbol
"EET". More extensive information on Etruscan can be found on its home page at

    This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements which
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may
cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements may include statements regarding exploration results and budgets,
mineral reserve and resource estimates, work programs, capital expenditures,
mine operating costs, production targets and timetables, future commercial
production, strategic plans, market price of precious metals or other
statements that are not statements of fact. Although the Company believes the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct.
Various factors that may affect future results include, but are not limited
to: fluctuations in market prices of precious metals; foreign currency
exchange fluctuations; risks relating to mining exploration and development
including reserve estimation and costs and timing of commercial production;
requirements for additional financing; political and regulatory risks, and
other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's annual information
form filed with the Canadian Securities regulators on SEDAR (
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking


For further information:

For further information: Richard Gordon, Investor Relations, (877)
465-3674, Fax (902) 832-6702,

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